An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE FIRST PATCH OF ASPHALT has been put down on the Victoria Street West improvement project and it provides a thin ray of sunshine at the end of the tunnel.
I say thin because there’s a long way to go once Stage 1 wraps up.
But things are going quite well, all things considered. After a few bumps, a sense of resignation has set in.
The dirt travel lanes are the downtown equivalent of a motocross — in slow motion. There have been some flat tires, businesses along the street are struggling, and human remains were discovered.
However, the zipper merge has taken hold again, there’s a degree of civility, and many are taking the Halston whenever they can.
The City is to be commended but the unsung heroes are the flaggers who tirelessly tell us all where to go and when to go there, and keep traffic moving at as good a pace as possible.
The fellow who works the Lansdowne-Lorne Street-City Hall intersection is especially efficient. I was reminded of that again yesterday on my way to the big BCLC Midsummer Music Jam at Riverside Park.
A wave of one hand and a wave of a Stop sign held in the other brings traffic to a halt on both streets as a City bus rumbles through. Then the Stop sign stays up and the other hand motions my lineup forward.
“Go, go, go, go!” he yells. By now it’s a familiar incitement to drivers navigating the perils of West Victoria, a reminder not to dally. Nobody takes offence, any more than you’d resent a drill sergeant.
So, we can give ourselves a pat on the back and, while we’re at it, give a shout-out to the flaggers.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.